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What’s new with ArcGIS Online: April 2018 update

ArcGIS Online was updated on April 11, so we have put together a list of some of the improvements for K-12 educators to discover. Find out what’s new with the Map Viewer, story map templates, data and other features from ArcGIS Online.

Last week, ArcGIS Online was updated to include some new and improved features that K-12 educators will be interested in. Find out what they are.

Creating a Map

  • Improved user experience for adding layers to the map. When searching for layers and browsing Living Atlas layers, you can view your search results in table view or list view, sort and filter the results to help you find what you need and add results to your favourites list.
  • You can update a feature layer by adding data (append data) to the layer; you do not need to republish the entire layer. This is useful if multiple students are collaborating on a project. In additional to other file formats, you can now use Excel to update data.

Searching for layers in the Map Viewer has been updated to provide the user with an improved experience.


  • The Living Atlas uses new content categories to organize maps, scenes, layers and apps. A new Living Atlas tab is available on the content page, and Living Atlas items are now marked with a special icon to identify this content.
  • Updates have been made to the World Imagery and Esri Vector basemaps.
  • Demographic and boundary data have been updated.
  • Keep up to date with the Living Atlas blog.

Story Maps

  • For a complete overview, check out What’s New with Story Maps.
  • The Story Map Tour has a new layout option with a cover page and more space for your photos.
  • Story Map Cascade stories can be printed or exported to PDF. This enables end users to access your Story Map Cascade without internet. This functionality is also available in the Story Map Journal.
  • The Story Map Journal has been enhanced to improve accessibility, so the widest possible range of people can read Map Journal content. Map Journals can be navigated using the keyboard and support assistive technologies like screen readers. 
  • When you next launch any of the Story Map Builders, you'll see a banner alerting you to web security enhancements that are being implemented for story maps. The builders will help you find and fix issues with embedded content in your story map caused by insecure (HTTP) content links.

The Map Tour is one type of story map template that has been updated. Read about the other changes in What’s New with Story Maps.

Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS

  • There are additional widgets for 2D apps, including Data Aggregation (beta), Distance and Direction, Gridded Reference Graphic and Emergency Response Guide. For 3D apps, the dashboard theme, Measurement widget and Share widget are available now. For more information, read What’s New with Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS

  • There are several new features. You can now use serial charts and pie charts as the source of dashboard actions, and you can use the new embedded content element to embed documents, images and videos into your dashboard. The map element now includes a scale bar and search feature, and you can specify new options for dashboards that contain subscriber content.

Read What’s New with ArcGIS Online to discover the complete list of the latest updates.

If you are new to ArcGIS Online, you can sign up for an account at Find free resources to get started at

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

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